How to Make Tres Leches Cake

 How to Make Tres Leches Cake



1 1/2 cups (200g) cake flour* (scoop and level to measure)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar**

5 large eggs, at room temperature*

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Milk mixture

1 1/4 cups (295ml) milk (anything but skim)

1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk


2 cups (473ml) heavy cream

1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Fresh sliced strawberries or cinnamon, for garnish


For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch or 12 by 8-inch baking dish, set aside. 

Sift cake flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add in baking powder and salt and whisk 20 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy.

Mix in eggs one at a time, blending until well combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla. 

Add in flour in 3 additions mixing just until combined after each addition. Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer and scape down sides and bottom of bowl and fold until evenly incorporated. 

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer (it will seem like a thin layer).

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 24 - 28 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack, about 45 minutes. Once cool pierce cake many times all over with a long-pronged fork.

For the milk mixture: In a large mixing bowl whisk together milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, the sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk until blended.

Pour evenly over cake then cover and chill at least 6 hours*** or up to 3 days.

For the topping: In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer (or using the stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment) whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. 

Add in sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Spread over chilled cake. 

Cut cake into slices and serve cold garnished with strawberries or dust with cinnamon if desired. Store cake in refrigerator.


*Cake flour offers a better texture here and better absorption. You can generally find it by the all-purpose flour in the baking isle. If you can't find it you can use 1 1/4 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour plus 3 Tbsp cornstarch.

**If you don't like things very sweet you can reduce sugar in cake to 2/3 cup.

To bring eggs to room temperature quickly place in a medium mixing bowl, cover with warm tap water and let rest 5 minutes.

Be sure to allow at least 6 hours for the milks to soak into the cake otherwise it won't have enough time to soak in.

Note that this makes a shorter style cake, but it works because cake is very rich so a taller slice may be too much.

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